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Listed under:  Arts  >  Visual arts  >  Handicrafts

Framed embroidery

This is a framed embroidery, made with wool, depicting an early, unofficial Australian coat of arms. The coat of arms is composed of a blue shield of four quarters that encloses a burgundy cross with five small white crosses, one at its centre and the others on each arm of the cross. The first quarter of the shield displays ...


Crazy patchwork quilt, 1890-95

This is a crazy patchwork quilt, measuring 202.5 cm x 268.0 cm, made by Rebecca King (1859-1915) in the late 19th century. The 'crazy' elements are immediately evident as the eye begins to take a journey across a spinning mosaic of different shapes and colours, which the artist created by sewing hundreds of small units ...


Knitting sampler, 1876

This knitting sampler was made in the former Czechoslovakia in 1876. Stored on a roller, it is a long narrow strip of white cotton featuring 70 different patterns created using fine needles. Some of the patterns are very intricate. A maker's mark ('Knitted, 'FM 1876') is incorporated into the first panel. The sampler is ...


'Making Do' panel from the Federation Tapestry, 2001

This is a tapestry panel designed by artist Murray Walker. The panel consists of images and handwritten words on a pale blue and gold background. The Eureka flag, made from fabric, forms the centrepiece of the design. Across the top are small ink drawings of items including a house, a windmill and toys. There are photographic ...


Hmong banner

This is a banner made by Hmong women from Laos consisting of an embroidered design on blue background, inside a border of blue, grey and white fabric. The embroidery depicts scenes of a farming community and shows men and women, sometimes with children, performing the tasks of sowing, reaping and processing various crops ...


Banner depicting a Hmong migration story, c1985-92

This is a banner consisting of an embroidered design on a blue background, inside a border. The embroidery depicts the migration of the Hmong people from their homeland. It shows a village scene with one soldier about to set fire to the huts and others pointing guns at the Hmong. There are scenes depicting work and the ...


Countermarch floor loom, 1945-50

This is a loom made from recycled timber. The loom is fitted together with wooden pegs and steel bolts, and is made up of many pieces, which allow it to be dismantled and reconstructed. Its dimensions are: 1.43 m (length) x 1.70 m (width) x 1.88 m (height).


Latvian belt, c1970

This is a woven belt, using traditional Latvian patterns symbolising the morning star. The ornate design indicates it is part of a woman's costume. The dimensions of the belt are 268 cm x 5 cm.


Quilt celebrating Women on Farms Gathering in West Gippsland, 1999

This quilt celebrates the tenth Women on Farms Gathering at Warragul, Victoria, in 1999 and was on display for the duration of the Gathering. It has thirteen quilted and embroidered panels that illustrate many elements of rural life and farming enterprises in the West Gippsland region: a timber forest (representing Powelltown ...


'Thaal the black eagle, Mal the red eagle', 1994

This is an earthenware clay pot made in 1994 by Thancoupie (1937-). Measuring 29 cm (height) x 32 cm (diameter), the pot is almost spherical with a small, irregular opening at the top. It is covered with bold decorative designs that have been carved into the surface as thick dark lines set against the off-white colour of ...


Sampler by Isabel Buist, 1839

This is a hand-embroidered needlework sampler made in 1839 by nine-year-old Isabel Buist in Tasmania (then known as Van Diemen's Land). The rectangular linen cloth is embroidered with cross-stitch in coloured cotton thread. Starting from the top, the sampler features two sets of the alphabet in grey and blue thread, the ...


Merrepen, 2005: Collecting roots and dye

This clip shows a group of women from the Merrepen Arts Centre at Nauiya on the Daly River in the Northern Territory collecting merrepen and pandanus leaves for weaving as well as merrepen seeds for dyeing. The clip is narrated by Marrfurra from the Daly River area in her own language with English subtitles.


Australian 'goldfields' brooch commissioned by Edward Austin, c1855

This is a rectangular rusticated wire framework brooch that features miniature copies of mining equipment. In the centre, a miner works a windlass and bucket above a sluice box. On either side is a crossed pick and shovel. The whole brooch is surrounded by a framework of leaves. It was made in about 1855.


Bendigo Pottery 'Waverley Ware' jug, c1925-35

This is an earthenware 'Waverley Ware' jug with a low, sharply carinated body, wishbone handle and long spout, manufactured at some stage between 1925 and 1935. The jug has been glazed in brown and streaked with a lighter colour. Fixed to one side of the jug is an oval silver paper label.


Wedding dress worn by Hannah Palser Prior, 1882

This is a wedding dress worn by Hannah Palser Prior on her wedding day in 1882. The dress is made from silk gauze and has a cream wool-and-silk trained bustle. The skirt is trimmed with shirring and pleating and the cuffs and yoke are ruched white satin. The dress has a cuirasse bodice with a high round neck, long sleeves ...


'Federation' dress and sash, 1901

This is a woman's 'Federation' dress and sash, made of painted silk and cotton, worn by Margaret Chisholm to a Federation Ball in 1901. It consists of a a bodice, skirt and sash. The bodice features a Union Jack pattern in silk and the cotton skirt is painted with an early version of the Australian coat of arms and the ...


Margaret Chisholm wearing a Federation dress, 1890-1901

This is a hand-tinted photograph mounted on heavy card showing Margaret Chisholm wearing her Federation dress. The photo was taken at some stage between 1890 and 1901. Her hair is ornamented with a small flag and she carries a riding whip in her right hand. She leans with her left hand against what appears to be a table ...


Scrapbook compiled by Mary Truby King, 1928-2002

This is a personal scrapbook compiled by Mary Truby King, mostly in the 1930s. It is a thick bound foolscap book with heavy marbled cardboard covers and a maroon leather spine. Its blank pages are numbered and the first pages have alphabetical tabs. The scrapbook contains pasted clippings of Truby King's own articles from ...


Patchwork quilt, 1857

This is a rectangular pieced quilt made by Amelia Brown in 1857. It features rows of pieced and appliquéd squares radiating out from a central medallion. The patchwork pieces are cut from plain and patterned cottons, including small floral prints, checks and stripes. The central motif of a cockerel is appliquéd in red on ...


Whale-tooth scrimshaw showing a blindfolded horseman, 1855-65

This is a scrimshawed and partly hollowed whale's tooth, cream in colour, depicting a blindfolded horseman wearing a cape and a Macedonian helmet. It was carved by Alfred Evans in Australia between 1855 and 1856. The horseman is brandishing a sword while mounted on a raised horse. The item is 65 mm wide.